"a substance was forcefully given to the victim"
Police arrested two aides of BJP politician Sonali Phogat for their alleged involvement in her murder.
The politician and former actress was initially suspected to have died of a heart attack in Goa on August 23, 2022.
However, a post-mortem revealed that there were “multiple blunt force injuries” on her body.
Police have now said that Sonali was drugged by her personal assistant and his friend prior to her death.
The accused were identified as Sudhir Sangvan and his friend Sukhwinder Singh.
According to police, the accused “intentionally gave the victim an obnoxious chemical substance in a liquid” hours before her death.
Goa Inspector General of Police Omvir Singh Bishnoi said:
“Based on witness statements, and CCTV footage from the club, it was seen that Sudhir and Sukhwinder partied with the deceased, and videos show that a substance was forcefully given to the victim by one of the accused.
“When confronted with this, Singh and Sangvan confessed to the police that they intentionally gave the victim an obnoxious chemical in a liquid and made her drink it.
“Then she lost control and she was looked after (by the accused). Another shot shows she was given something in a liquid.”
According to police, the substance was mixed with water and Sonali was made to drink it.
The two suspects have since been arrested.
Giving an account of the events leading up to her death, IGP Bishnoi said:
“At 4:40 (am) when she was unable to control herself, the accused took her to the bathroom and then she spent two hours in the bathroom.
“The accused has given no explanation for this so far. When custodial interrogation will be conducted, we will find out what they did.”
The suspects allegedly took Sonali Phogat from Curlies nightclub in Anjuna to the Grand Leony hotel.
IGP Bishnoi said that only chemical analysis would be able to identify the “drug” that was allegedly administered to Phogat and the police would find out during custodial interrogation where they had procured it from.
While it is not known why Sonali was killed, a possible economic motive is being investigated.
But IGP Bishnoi said the injuries mentioned in the post-mortem were not major, stating that they may have happened while Sonali was being taken to the bathroom.
The murder case had been registered following a complaint filed by Sonali’s brother Rinku Dhaka.
Rinku named Sangvan and Singh and claimed they had been blackmailing her with an explicit video before raping and murdering her.
He said the men threatened to destroy his sister’s political career and had taken some of her belongings, including property records and bank cards.
The family also said that Sonali had called them shortly before her death and had “sounded disturbed”.
While the suspects have been detained, IGP Bishnoi said there is no evidence of sexual assault so far.
Meanwhile, the politician’s teenage daughter Yashodhara Phogat urged the government to conduct a proper investigation into her mother’s death.
She said: “My mother deserves justice.
“The case requires proper investigation and the culprits should get strict punishment.”